Gene silencing through CpG island hypermethylation has been associated with genesis or progression of frequent microsatellite instability (MSI-H) cancers. To identify novel methylation sites unique to MSI-H colon cancers in an unbiased fashion, we conducted a global expression profiling-based methylation target search. We identified 81 genes selectively down-regulated in MSI-H cancers using cDNA microarray analysis of 41 primary colon cancers. Forty six of these 81 genes contained CpG islands overlapping their 5′untranslated regions. Initial screening of six genes in 57 primary colon cancers detected the following gene with MSI-H cancer-specific hypermethylation: RAB32, a ras family member and A-kinase-anchoring protein, was methylated in 14 of 25 (56%) MSI-H cancers but in none of 32 non-MSI-H cancers or 23 normal colonic specimens. RAB32 hypermethylation correlated with RAB32 mRNA down-regulation and with hMLH1 hypermethylation. In addition, the protein-tyrosine phosphatase receptor type O gene, PTPRO, was frequently methylated in right-sided tumors. This methylation screening strategy should identify additional genes inactivated by epigenetic silencing in colorectal and other cancers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research